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Croatian MoD downselects Sweden, Israel bids to replace outdated MiG-21s

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Croatia
Croatian MoD downselects Sweden, Israel bids to replace outdated MiG-21s
Croatia's Defense Ministry will choose fighter jets between Israeli and Swedish bids in its costly procurement of combat military aircraft to replace its fleet of MiG-21s, Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji List reported on Monday, November 20, 2017.
Croatian MoD downselects Israel bids to replace outdated MiG 21 640 001A Croatian Air Force MiG-21 fighter jet
(Credit: Croatian MoD)
Out of four bids for the new fighter jets, American offer of F-16 Bloc 70/72 is too expansive, while Greek F-16 Block 30 is not good enough. As a result, Israeli secondhand F-16 Barak and Swedish new models JAS 39 Gripen were selected for the final round, according to the report.

Between the two alternatives, JAS 39s are more expansive than F-16s, because the Swedish jets are new while Israeli ones are 30 years old.

Michael Johansson, vice president of the Sweden-based SAAB company that produces JAS 39 Gripens, told Croatian media that they were ready to negotiate a price with the Croatian Defense Ministry.

Dozens of Croatian journalists were invited as guests of the Swedish company and Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist, as a part of a final lobbying process, Vecernji List reported.

Croatia aims to replace its outdated Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21s. Under the plan, the first fighters are to be delivered to the Croatian Air Force by late 2020.

Although the purchase price of the aircraft is important, aircraft experts said that Croatia should also consider the costs of maintenance, infrastructure and flights during the entire period of use.

In 10 days, Croatian Defense Minister Damir Krsticevic will present the best offer for Croatia, and then Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will make a final decision and sign a deal by the end of 2017.